Cost of using NST services

We charge application fees and service charges. The total cost of the proceedings will be discussed in the Preliminary Conference for each case.

Fees and charges – overview

The NST operates on a partial cost recovery basis, with two types of fees payable by the parties, unless waived by the CEO:

  • Application fee
  • Service fee.

The CEO can waive an application fee, or waive or reduce a service fee, if they are satisfied that paying the fee would cause a party to suffer financial hardship.

For matters other than anti-doping (and subject to consideration of the nature and financial circumstances of the parties), the combination of the application fee and the service fee is intended to cover the NST’s direct costs in providing dispute resolution services.

Fees may cover the remuneration paid to the Member/s who hears your case, and where applicable, costs associated with travel, accommodation and hiring a hearing room.

Different fee arrangements apply for anti-doping matters.

Where an application fee is payable, it must be paid before the Preliminary Conference, or another milestone notified by us, before we will proceed with a case.

An estimate of the service fees will be discussed with the parties at the Preliminary Conference.

Costs our fees do not cover

Our fees do not cover costs such as parties’ travel, legal representation or obtaining a medical or expert report.

Parties are responsible for these costs themselves, but they may seek to obtain legal assistance via the NST Legal Assistance Panel (NSTLAP). Practitioners on the NSTLAP may offer legal services free of charge or at a significantly reduced rate at their discretion.

Parties will also not be charged for costs associated with case management support provided by NST staff, or other operating costs of the NST. These costs are covered through the Australian Government’s ongoing funding of the NST.

Unlike a court, the NST does not order one party to pay the legal costs of another party.

Application fees

Application fees must be paid prior to the Preliminary Conference, or another milestone notified by us, before we will proceed with a case.

You can apply for the CEO to waive the application fee if it would cause you financial hardship – see below.

The amount of the application fee is specified by legislative instrument in section 11 of the National Sports Tribunal Rule 2020 and set out in the following table.

Type of dispute

Division

Application fee

Mediation, conciliation or case appraisal

General Division

$500

Arbitration

General Division

$500

Arbitration

Anti-Doping Division

Nil

Arbitration

Appeals Division

$1,500

To join an existing arbitration

Any Division

$250

The parties involved in each matter can decide how the application fee is to be paid. Put simply, either:

  • one party pays the entire application fee, or
  • the parties can split the application fee between them (however they agree).

The apportionment may be stipulated in the relevant policy of the sporting body, or may be determined by the CEO.

If they choose, sporting bodies can negotiate an agreement with us to fully fund particular types of dispute resolution for their sport without contribution from individuals – for instance, selection disputes in the lead up to major events. This can include the application fee. Contact your sporting body to see if it has an agreement with us.

Service fees

An estimate of the service fees will be discussed with the parties at the Preliminary Conference. The parties may also agree at the Preliminary Conference, or subsequently, how the fees will be split between them. The apportionment of the service fee may be stipulated in the relevant policy of the sporting body.

The CEO will make a determination as to the quantum and apportionment of service fees once the matter has been finalised and the costs are known.

The determination may provide that a party or parties to a dispute be charged a portion of the service fees. In respect of determining fees for an arbitration, the CEO must have regard to the nature and financial circumstances of the parties to the dispute.

The CEO will also take into consideration the following factors in making a determination of service fees:

  • the type of dispute resolution method
  • the Division in which the matter is heard
  • the length and complexity of the matter
  • the number of Members allocated to the matter
  • whether there were any associated costs such as travel and accommodation, a hearing room and incidentals
  • whether a non-binding written opinion was requested in a case appraisal (at an additional cost)
  • whether a transcript of the hearing was requested (at an additional cost)
  • whether the parties have requested an expedited hearing, particularly in circumstances where the matter is not regarded as urgent or time critical (this may involve an additional cost).

Member remuneration is usually a major component of the service fee. The CEO will be guided by the NST Member Remuneration Policy in considering the remuneration and allowances to be paid to the Member/s allocated to the matter. The parties will not necessarily be expected to cover all of the Member remuneration costs, particularly in lengthy and complex matters.

The CEO may waive or reduce the service fee for reasons of financial hardship.

Anti-doping matters

No application fees or service fees are payable for matters heard in the Anti-Doping Division of the NST.

The cost of an appeal from a first instance anti-doping decision will be limited to the cost of the application fee ($1,500), with no additional service fees payable.

Financial hardship

The CEO can waive an application fee, or waive or reduce a service fee, if they are satisfied that paying the fee would cause a party to suffer financial hardship.

An application for financial hardship consideration should be made at the time the application for arbitration or other method of dispute resolution is lodged, or prior to the Preliminary Conference.

You will also need to complete a financial hardship statutory declaration.

NST Legal Assistance Panel

We have established a panel of legal practitioners who are willing to provide free or substantially discounted legal assistance.

If a party has had their fees reduced or waived due to financial hardship, they will automatically receive a copy of the list.

If you do not pay your fees

If you do not pay your fees on time, we may suspend or terminate your case.

Refunds

If the final NST costs of the case are less than the fees the parties have already paid, we can refund the difference. This could happen if a complex case takes fewer days than we expected.

The CEO will determine how to split the refund between the parties.